The cost of weddings has never been higher – although this article from The Guardian will give you some ideas on how to cope – so it was a real pleasure when Henry and Anne-Laure told me they were going to get married in the garden of his mum and dad’s house here in Edinburgh. It was everything that they had told me they originally intended – low-key, charming and relaxed. Or as the French say, “discret, charmant et détendu”.
Anne-Laure got in touch at the end of last year to say, “We’re struggling a bit to find a celebrant, not to mention one who speaks a little bit of French! We’re planning a fairly relaxed wedding in the garden of Henry’s parents. :)”
And she was as good as her word. Why book a limo when a black cab will do?
OK, getting married in your back garden is easier when you’ve got a garden big enough for a Tipi like this!
But that apart, the ceremony was every bit as laidback as Anne-Laure and Henry had hoped.
The weather was glorious, but for me, what made it so special was the imagination and honesty that Henry and Anne-Laure brought to the ceremony itself.
Their first great idea was to create a booklet in French and English; cela permettait aux français de lire les passages en anglais qu’ils ne comprenaient pas et bien sûr cela fonctionnait aussi dans l’autre sens.
One very touching element was that the date of the wedding fell not only on Henry’s Gran’s 80th birthday, but it was also the anniversary of a very special broadcast to the French people by General De Gaulle in 1940.
Their story told of both joys and sorrows. Anne-Laure’s sister, Gabrielle, read an excerpt from a letter their grand-mother wrote to their grand-father when they were separated for a short while near the end of World War II; Mireille’s words were a very touching portrait of love.
Then Henry’s sister Kate and Anne-Laure’s Godmother Barbara gave us “the blessing of the hands”. You can find the words of the poem here if you don’t know it.
Anne-Laure and Henry spoke their vows – en français et en anglais naturellement – Guillaume, Anne-Laure’s brother, gave us the rings, and Kate and Gabrielle were our witnesses.
I was very touched to get an email from them a few weeks ago now, with these lovely photographs by Silvya Palladino – and I was even more touched to see that they’d already written me a lovely review on Your Scottish Wedding.
Tim was a brilliant celebrant for our wedding. From the very beginning right through to the “I do’s” he put us at ease and helped us shape a very personal wedding ceremony.
He gave us lots of suggestion and inspiration on how to craft a humanist ceremony, and then took on board our ideas and captured exactly the tone and style that we were after.
Most especially, this included conducting the ceremony in French and English, switching seamlessly between the two and making sure a large bi-lingual crowd was fully involved.
We would definitely recommend Tim if you’re looking for an authentic and confident celebrant!
Anne-Laure et Henry, Je suis très touché et reconnaissant pour vos aimables paroles; cela sonne plutôt plus formel en français, n’est-ce pas ? But seriously, it was a real joy to work with you, and I’m just so glad that everyone enjoyed it so much too. Thanks also for sending me this list of credits for your suppliers – I rarely ever know who else is involved so I hope they all get some click-throughs from your story.
Beautiful make up and hair by the warm and friendly Becki https://www.instagram.com/beckivernonmakeupandhair/
📸 Amazing pictures by Silvya Palladino Photography (https://www.silvyapalladinophotography.com/
🍲 Food by Edinburgh Food Social (https://edinburghfoodsocial.org/)
🧀 Yum French cheese by Chez Roger. They even cut it in pieces so we just had to put it on slates (https://www.chezroger.co.uk/).
🍰 Delicious cake & dessert buffet by Celebration Stations who are based in Perth (https://www.celebrationstations.co.uk/).
💐 Beautiful bridal bouquet came from Rose and Ammi (https://roseandammiflowers.com/). The bouquet is still beautiful 1 week later!
🎤 The band was the second band of Corra (Field of stars) and played an amazing mix of music including ceilidh (https://corramusic.co.uk/).
⛺️ Tipi by https://helsbytents.co.uk/
And our wonderful piper was Rachel Gray https://www.bagpipelessons.co.uk/